organizational management

My Top Ten Peter Drucker Quotes

Peter Drucker (1909-2005) has been described as the person who "invented management." His contributions to the field of organizational development are felt today in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.  Many of today's practitioners, including one of my favorites, Jim Collins, cite Drucker as an influence on their research and study. Drucker has been quoted thousands of times, and there are dozens of "Druckerisms" that are wonderful. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.”
  2. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
  3. “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.”
  4. “What gets measured gets improved.”
  5. “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”
  6. “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.”
  7. “People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”
  8. “Meetings are by definition a concession to a deficient organization. For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.”
  9. “Long-range planning does not deal with the future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.”
  10. "Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things"


I'm particularly fond of #3 and #7.  What are your favorites?  Please let me know!

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What Exactly Do You Do?

My mother used to tell people that I was a sociologist. I wasn't. I was a health educator. But I did have a degree in Sociology, so that's where she got the idea that I was a sociologist.  Oh well... As time went on, she told people I took care of breast cancer patients.  I didn't. I worked for a breast cancer organization that provided information to women with breast cancer. Which, I guess, means that I took care of breast cancer patients...

Now I'm a consultant, and I think it's easy for my mother to say, "She's a consultant" when asked.  But when they follow up with, "What kind of a consultant?" it probably gets interesting.  Because, sometimes, even I have a hard time answering that question.

Nonprofits, especially smaller organizations like the ones I have often worked with, have diverse needs in a variety of categories: capacity-building, leadership, governance, development, and many other areas of growth and change. There is no "one size fits all" approach to what I do, because the needs change from organization to organization, and even during engagements, things can change.  It's never boring!

So, Mom, please tell your friends that I'm a consultant who helps organizations reach their potential, by providing them with guidance and support as they grow. Because that's what I do best.

You can reach me at I'm looking forward to speaking with you!



Having a Bad Day?

Sometimes it's because it's Monday.  Sometimes it's because you didn't sleep well.  Sometimes it's just because you're having too many minor- or major- hassles at work.  And sometimes it's JUST BECAUSE.  You're having a bad day. It happens. It's not easy being a leader, responsible for others as well as for fulfilling a mission. One of the nonprofit experts I follow, Joan Garry, has a wonderful blog about what to do when you're feeling a bit wobbly about things.  Read it and have a better tomorrow!

Enough is Enough

"If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."  - Oprah Winfrey "Enough is enough is enough" - Paul Jabara and Donna Summer

Those of you who have read my previous blog posts know that I have chosen intentions rather than resolutions to set the tone for my year. (In case you haven't memorized them, 2013's was "Less judgement, more compassion" and 2014's was "Listen and learn").

This year's intention is "Enough."  In reflecting on this word, it became clear that there was more than one way to approach the concept of "enough" and its application to my work and my life. Enough, as in: Does what I am doing make me happy? Am I satisfied? How can I show my appreciation for all that I have that brings me what I need?

But also, enough, as in: What doesn't make me happy about what I am doing? What are my boundaries? What is burdening me or stressing me, and how can I make that go away? How can I create a world that is joyful and satisfying for me and others?

As always, I will be integrating this intention into my daily life, seeing how it affects my perspective and my actions.  I will keep you posted!

Please be in touch to discuss your consulting needs.





Am I a Great Consultant?

How am I Doing? There are many positive aspects to being a consultant: having diverse and interesting work, getting to know a variety of people, and balancing my time so I can make a 5pm yoga class are just a few.  But one of the downsides is that I don’t always get feedback on how well I am doing in my job of helping organizations grow and succeed in their missions.

What makes a great consultant?  I used my network of colleagues and clients to answer this question, and came up with this Top 10 List:

  1. Be as good at delivering bad news as good news. There’s inevitably going to be a time when you have to state a harsh truth to your clients. A great consultant is able to do this with honesty and sensitivity.
  2. Be able to turn your experiences into examples. A great consultant has theoretical and practical knowledge,      and can communicate both.
  3. Be able to use  your skills in a variety of ways. What works for one client may not work for another. A great      consultant uses their skill set to come up with practical and innovative strategies that work.
  4. Be able to simplify and explain a problem.  A great consultant can provide understanding and insight into a problem by using examples, graphics or metaphor.
  5. Be able to provide more than one solution to a problem.  A great consultant can provide multiple problem-solving possibilities, and can be relied upon to think creatively.
  6. Be self-confident.  A great consultant projects a sense of confidence in their abilities and knowledge.
  7. Be a good listener. A great consultant asks enough questions to get the full story from their client before offering      a response.
  8. Be a team player. A great consultant leaves their own personal goals at the door, and focuses only on their clients’ goals.
  9. Be your client’s most trusted asset. A great consultant develops strong relationships with their clients. Tell them the truth, using sensitivity and empathy, and work hard at ensuring they know you have their back.
  10.  Make it about them, not you.  A great consultant always puts their clients at the center of everything they do. You’re going to help your clients succeed. But you need to be humble and remember that the client is always the star.

What other attributes make for a great consultant? Email me your thoughts!